‘With CyberKnife m6, the treatment can be done in 40 minutes’

By: |
August 08, 2016 6:26 PM

Artemis will become the first hospital in North India to install the latest and advanced CyberKnife m6 model, elucidates Dr Aditya Gupta, Director – Neurosurgery, Artemis Hospital, in an interaction with Prathiba Raju

Artemis will become the first hospital in North India to install the latest and advanced CyberKnife m6 model, elucidates Dr Aditya Gupta, Director – Neurosurgery, Artemis Hospital, in an interaction with Prathiba Raju

What is unique about CyberKnife m6, the latest generation of robotic radio surgery system?

201608ehm27Dr Aditya Gupta

CyberKnife m6 is a revolutionary radio – surgical device that uses a combination of robotics and sophisticated image-guidance technology. The new model is safe, pain free and it is the most comfortable radio surgery treatment available. Unlike the earlier version having a stereotactic metallic frame, which is mounted on the patient face during the procedure, m6 version comes with a thermo plastic mesh mask where the patient can breathe and see through it. The mask is painful because the four pins of the frame goes into the skull of the patient. But the CyberKnife m6 series is more like a mobile radiation head which shoots individual beam of radiation. Even claustrophobic patients can be treated easily. With CyberKnife m6, the treatment can be done in 40 minutes. It is just like a CT and an MRI scan, but the same procedure takes 2.5 hours in gamma knife and modified linear accelerators.

What are the clinical features that Cyberknife m6 Series offers?

The common tumours which can be treated by CyberKnife is pituitary ademomas, acouste neuroma, meningioma, glomus tumour and other benign tumours. Apart from tumours, we can treat arteriovenous malformation. These are  clumps of blood vessels in brain which can be burned with the help of radiation and trigerminal neuralgia. The m6 version is highly precise and helps to treat  patients who have larger or more irregular shape tumours and who are resistant to conventional radiation, as they can be given more focused radiation. It also helps in cases where surgically tumour is inaccessible. In many western countries, out of 100 cases, 40 cases are brain metastases and they get radiation for the deposits. However, in our country for every case, many undergo full brain radiation, which leads to side effects. It leads to memory loss, forgetfulness, behavioural changes and higher mental loss.

India has around 1.8 million cancer patients. How useful will this new age system be to cater to a large number of patients?

It will help to treat lung, prostrate and pancreatic cancer by offering an alternative to surgery. The reason being sometimes patients might have already undergone a surgery or radiation surgery so many don’t want it again. The m6 series helps to track only the deposits. So, this is a boon for them.

Is the technology operational at Artemis hospital. Will it be the first hospital in the northern region to install this equipment? What is the cost of the machine?

Artemis in Gurgaon (Haryana) is the first hospital to install this new advanced technology in north India. It will be installed by October, while one more will be operational by next month (August), in a private hospital in Kochi (Kerala). A lot of awareness should be created on this advanced technology as it is more precise and advanced than a regular radio therapy machine. Other physicians across the northern part of India should understand the value of m6, as it is the most  advanced and comfortable radio surgery available. The cost of the machine is about Rs 25 crores approximately $5 million. Patients who undergo CyberKnife m6 treatment from Artemis will not be highly charged, as it will be similar to the linear accelerator or a conventional radio surgery CyberKnife machine.

Even though radiation therapy has become a cornerstone in cancer care today, our country has 0.47 machines per million population. Why is  there a shortfall of such machines?

A country like Taiwan has six Cyberknife machines. However, India with a high burden of tumour cases, and with Cyberknife m6 going to get installed in Artemis, there will be a  total of six Cyberknife machines in the country. So, there is a shortfall of such high cost machines.

How will radio surgery evolve in the five years?

In five years time, we will be detecting tumours early. Physicians will be more aware of these advanced treatments. With more health insurance penetration, such treatments will be available for larger section of people and is likely to be cheap. I hope universally the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan and metabolic information will be integrated in the planning part of the radio surgery procedure.


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